The stories are now quite wide-ranging in the wake of an official admission by the Saudis that Jamal Khashoggi is dead, even if there’s no accounting for the whereabouts of his body.
It’s now harder to maintain that “rogue” operatives committed the murder or that there was some sort of misadventure which would diminish the murderous intention of whoever committed the crime or who ordered it.
Numerous agendas are at work, notably that of the Turkish government in trying to leverage the crisis, as well as the US government, who may have had advance information about some aspects of the plan to attack Khashoggi.
There’s no shortage of implausible deniability as disinformation becomes as granular as the desert and with so many contradictory narrative details.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly spoke on the phone with journalist Jamal Khashoggi moments before he was murdered in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak revealed new alleged details of the case in a report on Sunday, contradicting claims by Saudi authorities that Prince Mohammed played no part in Khashoggi’s murder.
We projected a picture of Jamal Khashoggi on the First amendment at the Newseum. He was killed by the Saudi Royal Family for speaking truth to power. They are being protected by our President who has taken bribes from their regime for his personal gain. We demand justice. pic.twitter.com/rxWVTkxbgz
— robin bell (@bellvisuals) October 19, 2018
“Khashoggi was detained by the Saudi team inside the consulate building. Then Prince Mohammed contacted Khashoggi by phone and tried to convince him to return to Riyadh,” the report said.
“Khashoggi refused Prince Mohammed’s offer out of fear he would be arrested and killed if he returned. The assassination team then killed Khashoggi after the conversation ended,” it added.
While it is difficult to verify the source of this information, Turkish pro-government media have been receiving a steady stream of leaks many of which turned out to be accurate, including pictures of the hit team as they entered Turkey and reports of audio recordings of the murder said to be in the possession of Turkish authorities.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called presidential adviser and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner on October 10, eight days after Jamal Khashoggi went missing.
Why the outrage, the prince asked in English, according to people briefed on the conversation, the WSJ said.
- 2. Khashoggi’s murder is a key insight into the methods of a crown prince who wants to trigger a US war with Iran. The Iraq war was a disaster. An Iranian one could be worse. MBS’s support for Trump, Khushner et al was contingent in part on Trump pulling out of the Iran deal.
- 3. Khashoggi was a strong supporter of the Arab Spring. The House of Saud was already an enemy of free media, democracy and any kind of accountability. MBS is a visceral opponent. What MBS fears most is moderate Islamic democracy – something Khashoggi supported.
- 4. Contrary to what his character assassins say, Khashoggi was not an Islamist. He campaigned for women’s rights, abhorred terrorism and believed in a free media. He knew the MBS brand of autocracy bred terrorism. His modulated dissent brought about his killing and dismemberment.
- 5. The vast wealth and entitlement of MBS – he owns a $420m yacht, for one – breeds resentment and allegations of hypocrisy. When dissent is denied a legitimate outlet, it spawns radicalism. This was what Khashoggi was warning against. He was right.
- 6. Trump is dissembling for MBS because he shares his values and likes his money. Kushner’s ties are an added factor. Trump is being led by Riyadh and voices in his own administration towards a conflict that would be disastrous for the US and further radicalize the region.
- 7. Those who wonder why we should care about Khashoggi’s death should as whether we want an autocratic thug to be directing US foreign policy? Why is America’s president covering up a brutal extra-territorial murder? All this whabboutery serves MBS. Is that what we want? /Ends.
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